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July 28, 2011

Bauer's deal with Arizona is solid development for Orioles

There have been no recent developments in the quest to sign fourth-overall selection, Dylan Bundy, before the Aug.15 deadline to sign 2011 draft picks, but the Arizona Diamondbacks certainly didn’t hurt the Orioles’ cause earlier this week.

The Diamondbacks agreed to terms with right-handed pitcher Trevor Bauer, the third overall selection, on a four-year contract worth a guaranteed $.4.45 million. The Major League deal could be worth as much as $6.95 million if Bauer, the former UCLA Bruin, makes it to the big leagues at the start of next season, and stays with the club.

What does this mean for the Orioles and Bundy?

Well, we already know that Bundy, the Oklahoma High School pitcher who some pundits felt had the most upside in the draft, is not going to get the $30 million deal that he is reportedly seeking.

In fact, if Bauer’s deal is a guide – and it’s not a totally fair comparison because Bauer is a college pitcher who could move through Arizona’s system quickly, while Bundy is still 18 – then you figure Bundy’s deal will come in slightly under the $6 million bonus that the Orioles gave catcher Matt Wieters in 2007.

Now, I’m sure Bundy’s agent, Jay Franklin, will argue that Bundy is once-in-a-lifetime talent, and make comparisons to Washington Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg, a college pitcher who was drafted first overall in 2009 and given a record four-year $15.1 million deal. Franklin wouldn’t be doing his job if he didn’t.

However, I’m sure he also realizes that shortstop Manny Machado, represented by Scott Boras, was considered the best high school position player in the 2010 draft and had even drawn some (albeit silly) comparisons to Alex Rodriguez. He also plays a premium position. The Orioles drafted him third overall and got him signed for $5.25 million.

It will probably take a little more than that to agree to terms with Bundy, but it probably shouldn’t be much more. And either way, Bundy stands to be one very rich teenager.

Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 11:58 AM | | Comments (11)
        

Comments

Jeff,
I agree that the deal offers some interesting possibilities for Dylan's eventual deal, but one major difference is the fact that it's a MAJORLEAGUE deal.

Most of us fans might think it's a minor nuance, but I would argue that it can be something that really hurts the development of highschoolers. Look at Adam Loewen. The Orioles' ability to develop Adam was hurt badly by the fact that no matter what struggles would Loewen have, he was on the clock to hit the majors in 3 years, no matter where he was at. He was rushed badly, and probably got too much, too early, which ultimately may have resulted in his injury and forcing him out of the organization. Who knows if it would have turned out any different, but his contract didn't help things along.

Trevor is a different case as you mentiuoned. He's a college pitcher and is closer to the majors. If Bundy gets a majorleague deal that would really stick out to me. I would rather the club up the signing bonus than go that route.

I saw that deal and it does set the framework for Bundy but it still comes down to what he will take. And after reading some quotes from his father I worry a little bit about getting this done.

I cannot read the freaking verification words/letters.

I still think his best value to the O's would be as a conditioning coach...

Just take a gander at Jim Palmer's career stats (not to mention any AVERAGE pitcher from that era) for innings pitched, complete games, etc. etc. etc. Who in MLB does any of that now? Could it be arms are coddled to the point of injury?

Jeff mentioned that Dylan's agent wouldn't be doing his job if he didn't point out that Dylan is a once in a lifetime talent, that he has the highest upside of anyone in the draft, that he will marry a supermodel, yada, yada. yada.

But Jay Franklin also wouldn't doing his job if he hasn't made clear to Dylan and his father that he's still going to have to spend some time in the minors. Very rare is the player who jumps from high school to the majors. This isn't the NBA. If Bryce "A combination of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman" Harper didn't go right into the bigs, what makes anyone think Dylan Bundy will make the jump? As good as he is, or might be, let's see what he does against other high school superstars who are now playing in the minors.

Oh, and Jeff, I don't think it's all that silly to compare young Machado with Alex Rodriguez. They are both Miami high school SSs, both power hitters with lean, athletic bodies, that once filled out, will bring a move to 3B. ARod made the path, Machado will likely follow it.

Eddie, you are so right. Loewen had to be in the bigs by a certain time, and we're not sure if he was ready. He was 22 when he made is debut, was reasonable his first year, but got worse as he went on. I wonder if those kind of contracts not only put undo pressure on a player or team, but maybe take away some of the incentive for the kid to bust his rear end? If you know your guaranteed to get the call, why kill yourself?

Thinking that Bauer will operate as a framework for Dylan Bundy sets the Os up for disappointment.

There doesn't seem much chance that he signs for less than Taillon's $6.5m, and it's far more likely that he signs in the range of Beckett and Porcello at $7m. He's the top prep arm in a very good draft year, and as such it seems a foregone conclusion.

@Ken and Eddie, the real problem with giving Maj League deals is not always the 3 year timeline, because I think Loewen had the talen by the time he arrived. The prob w/maj league contracts is that the O's have to give up a spot on the 40 man roster, which means they may lose a player in Rule V draft this fall. So if Bundy insists on a major league deal, the O's have to consider if he's worth the money, plus a player they are likely to lose a la Pedro Beato.

Josh, AM is the only person who would overthink signing Bundy because of concerns over losing Pedro Beato. Please.... lose Pedro Beato.

It's not my money, but I would be reluctant to give a guaranteed million dollar contract+ to anyone with a high school education. Either he wants to sign with us or he does not. If he does not, let's see how he makes out against Division I opposition- like the University of Florida. Orioles Nation has survived without him and will continue to do so. Use the money targeted for Bundy for a better purpose.

I am sorry, but the O's knew what Bundy was looking for and if they don't sign him, it's a joke!

This team hasn't built on the drafts and we can't waste another top pick. Jordan knew this kid wanted big time money and if the brain trust didn't think he was worth it, they should have moved onto someone they knew they could sign.

There isn't one player at AA or AAA who could start for the O's. That's pathetic!

note to college professor. bundy can go to a jr college and be drafted ext yr. college professor you just got demoted to h.s. shop teacher.

note to fkterp. With the pay grade of some public high schools, it may not be a demotion in salary. However, I'm not very skilled in h.s. shop! Good point about junior college, but Bundy does have several scholarships waiting for him at the Division I A level. Florida is not one of them and I don't think the terps are either. I just think Bundy wants way too much upfront $$$ for never having thrown a pitch above the high school level.

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.


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